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In the footsteps of biological motion and multisensory perception: Judgments of audiovisual temporal relations are enhanced for upright walkers

Saygin, AP; Driver, J; de Sa, VR; (2008) In the footsteps of biological motion and multisensory perception: Judgments of audiovisual temporal relations are enhanced for upright walkers. PSYCHOL SCI , 19 (5) 469 - 475.

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Abstract

Observers judged whether a periodically moving visual display (point-light walker) had the same temporal frequency as a series of auditory beeps that in some cases coincided with the apparent footsteps of the walker. Performance in this multisensory judgment was consistently better for upright point-light walkers than for inverted point-light walkers or scrambled control stimuli, even though the temporal information was the same in the three types of stimuli. The advantage with upright walkers disappeared when the visual "footsteps" were not phase-locked with the auditory events (and instead offset by 50% of the gait cycle). This finding indicates there was some specificity to the naturally experienced multisensory relation, and that temporal perception was not simply better for upright walkers per se. These experiments indicate that the gestalt of visual stimuli can substantially affect multisensory judgments, even in the context of a temporal task (for which audition is often considered dominant). This effect appears to be constrained by the ecological validity of the particular pairings.

Type:Article
Title:In the footsteps of biological motion and multisensory perception: Judgments of audiovisual temporal relations are enhanced for upright walkers
Keywords:VISUAL-PERCEPTION, BIOMECHANICAL MOTIONS, PSYCHOMETRIC FUNCTION, BRAIN-AREAS, INFANTS, SYNCHRONY, HEARING, VISION, SOUND, ORIENTATION
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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